Jihad at JFK

In August 2006, Russell “Mohammed” Defreitas, a retired employee of New York’s JFK Airport, confided to an acquaintance his “vision” for a jihad terror attack that, he said, would make the attack on the World Trade Center seem small. The plot involved placing bombs in jet fuel lines in the airport, thereby destroying the airport and probably killing thousands.

Besides the mayhem and economic devastation this plot would cause, Defreitas seemed to have been fond of it because of its symbolic value: “Anytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States,” he told his acquaintance, who was a man whom he thought he knew from a mosque in Brooklyn and who was actually an informant. “To hit John F. Kennedy, wow…They love John F. Kennedy like he’s the man… If you hit that, the whole country will be in mourning. It’s like you can kill the man twice.”

Despite having gained U.S. citizenship, Defreitas, a Guyanese by birth, clearly hates his new country, and wishes to demoralize it in service of its enemies. Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Knox said of Defreitas: “He is the self-proclaimed brainchild of an elaborate plot to blow up J.F.K. airport. His stated goal was to kill as many people as possible.” Knox’s words were an eerie echo of the Fort Dix jihad terror plot that was unmasked in May, in which the plotters hoped to kill as many soldiers as possible. The Fort Dix and JFK plotters are evidently among the thirteen percent of Muslims in the United States who support suicide attacks in some circumstances.

These plots show yet again that one need not be a member of Al-Qaeda or some other recognized terror organization in order to plan a jihad terror attack. All one needs is the conviction that the supreme deity wants those who believe in him to commit mass murder, and will reward them for doing so. Assuring us that the vast majority of believers don’t believe this is not enough, as long as that majority does little or nothing to root out the minority who do believe it, and to resist the spread of such views. After the Fort Dix plot was uncovered, mainstream media coverage was much preoccupied with Muslim fears of “backlash” attacks that in reality never materialized, and not preoccupied at all with asking Muslims what they intended to do to make sure that Muslims in the U.S. were taught against the jihad ideology that many of them manifestly hold. About the Pew Research Center poll of American Muslims that showed significant support for suicide bombing and Al-Qaeda, I wrote last week: “Almost six years after 9/11, no pressure is coming either from the mainstream media or law enforcement for Muslim groups in the United States to institute comprehensive educational programs against jihadism in their mosques and schools. This poll, however, shows how much such programs are needed — as well as a national debate about how these groups should be regarded if they refuse or fail to implement such programs.”

The JFK plot only makes those programs, and that debate, all the more urgent. Russell Mohammed Defreitas hated his adoptive land and believed that Islam commanded him to bring it to its knees. What was he learning in the mosque in Brooklyn where he believed he had seen the government informant before? Do any law enforcement officials know the answer to that question? As long as American Muslim groups do not formally renounce the jihad ideology of Islamic supremacism that would destroy American Constitutional government and replace it with Sharia, and do not expel those who refuse to renounce these beliefs in word and deed, American mosques must be monitored, and American Muslims called to account for harboring this menace.

But before these and other urgently necessary actions can be taken, some mainstream media figures will have to have the courage to pierce the fog of political correctness that envelops us and call for such measures. Those who are looking for an opportunity to demonstrate their courage and patriotism have a superb chance to do so now.